At completexbox we are very much community driven, and welcome guest articles, opinion pieces and reviews. This Review is written by the very talented IM Dave Angel

Can you give me the basic premise of Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure?

“Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure” is a top-down survival-crafting game. Set on a mysterious island, the game follows four distinct orphans who stumble upon the tropical shores after discovering an old raft. Their mission is to repair the island’s shrines and heal the individual areas of the rain-soaked archipelago.

So, what is the main gameplay loop?

You play as one of four orphans, each of which has unique skills they bring to the experience, but you can only progress with one character at a time.  Having the option of a co-op experience with friends could elevate the score on this enjoyable little gem.

It is also frustrating to find you need a particular skill but need to go all the way back to the original location to swap to the other character.  Also, each character has their own inventory, so if you want to maintain a supply of wood, food, weapons and snacks for your pets, these must be traded between your first character and the new one.

Is this a survival sandbox then?

Despite being primarily a survival and crafting experience, “Ikonei Island” offers a decent story, if you work hard enough to find it.  Playing as one of the four stranded characters (you may swap freely when they are standing together), you must explore and fix shrines across the island. To do this, you will be using the orphans’ skills as well as those of your animal companions (more on these in a moment).

The story progression is tied to incremental building, which can be frustrating for some players. There is also the fact that missions or objectives are passed to the player, but with no indication of where we could be going (“it’s thatt-a way” with a pointed finger would have sufficed).

The game is visually mesmerizing and adaptable, covering everything from rain soaked beaches to snowy mountain tops.  The character and enemy designs are varied, but certain design choices may leave you thinking of a certain creature fighting game by a major publisher.

Once you fix a shrine, the creatures around that shrine will be free to be tamed with some slow movements and (of course) food.  Once they are tame, they will follow you when requested, use unique skills to help clear the land or even fertilise plants for fruit production.

These creatures gain XP through use of their skills and will eventually “evolve” to a higher * (level), enabling them to break bigger rocks and the like.

This sounds like good fun…

While it has moments of greatness, there are a few issues that spoil the party.

For example, you will often find yourself being attacked by a poisonous snake and you cannot see it as it is hiding in the grass (as low down snakes do).  You then walk around in the grass, looking for the snake. In my gameplay time, I was unable to get my animals to provide any kind of defense for myself or even their own good. They will stand and watch a snake poison them repeatedly until you either send them home or destroy the snake with your leaf blade or Spud club (just a small selection of the weapons available).

There are also strongholds on the island, run by these adorable koala-type pirates.  These pirate bases serve as challenging locations where you can find valuable loot, resources, and sometimes even rare blueprints.

Approach the pirate base and explore its surroundings. You’ll encounter enemies guarding the area.

Engage the pirates, then after defeating them you can search the base for chests and containers. These often hold crafting materials, weapons, and other useful items.  Occasionally, pirate bases hold unique blueprints that unlock new crafting recipes.

Some pirate bases may be in disrepair, which gives the opportunity to repair them.  This can provide benefits like fast travel points or access to new areas.

In summary, “Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure” provides a simple, clean survival-crafting experience with a tropical twist. If you enjoy exploring mysterious islands and don’t mind measured, incremental progression, it’s worth a try!

CX Score:  60

Overall
  • 60%
    CX Score - 60%
60%

Summary

PROS

  • A cute, clean survival crafting experience, if you can forgive its weakest points.
  • Lots to collect, lots of enemies to fight, lots to make with great different biomes.

 

CONS

  • Would benefit greatly from some more story progression moments, as well as a co-op option.
  • You can complete this game with one character, which leaves the other player choices a matter of which “skin” they want to use.
  • The combat system needs a lock-on mechanism, as it is easy to lose sight of your enemy and die, despite your best efforts.

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